Edison Motors collaborates with Merritt Secondary School in building electric go-karts.

Edison Motors is a Merritt based company that converts old semi trucks into electric trucks. Edison also manufactures their own electric hauling trucks: the L500 and L750.

MSS students will design and engineer go-karts in a series of three challenges. A race for the fastest lap time, a tractor pull to see which vehicle can haul the most weight, and an off-road obstacle course to test if carts can handle all terrains. Students will also get bonus points for the coolest looking kart.

Students will be provided key components such as electric motors, batteries and controllers.

“We’ve got a pretty cool design, we’re gonna be building a sliding system for the seat and the battery for weight distribution, and we’ve got some cool suspension designs from dirt bikes and snowmobiles,” said Mack Klassen, one of the students working on the go-karts.

Auto shop teacher Ryan Smith hopes that through this challenge, students will gain team building knowledge and practical skills. “As far as the learning goes, everything from design layout, AutoCAD, electrical connections, fabricating, the mechanical workings, theory, breaking.”

The winning team of each challenge will receive a $500 scholarship. Overall winning team will receive a $1,500 scholarship as well as an offer for a paid summer position at Edison Motors to improve their electric vehicle fabrication skills.

All team members must be MSS students or faculty, team’s vehicles should also all meet safety standards meaning the kart should have seat belts, helmets, working brakes, no dangerous metal protrusions and operate under 78 volts.

In the last week of May, schools from across Canada and one school in Houston, Texas, will come to Merritt to compete in the three challenges.